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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21336
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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My Nicky has an unproductive cough. He code swallow when he

Customer Question

My Nicky has an unproductive cough. He code swallow when he is fine and then he drinks water. He is 18yrs Old and I got him when he was 4 months old. He has always had a runny more and he sneezed quite a lot. You should see my walls. As he got older sneezeing has slowed down. I love how more a million times a day, it always weeks to be Blocked with dried mucus. He rarely coughed for the last months it has gotten steadly worse. Been to 2 vets nothing want to put him down because of how she and they day he is contagious. He is an I side cat and rarely leaves the Apt. He has been tested for everything all negative had all hid vaccines and exploreitory surgey, No polops. And he has an antibiotic compounded just for him. The green stuff clears up and after meds are done he is mucus FREE for 2 or 3 says and it starts again. I have been told he was OCD because he pulled the fur off his belly and insde his hind legs. Now I learned there a symptom of skin allergies. He weeks to be a little crappy and sleeping more than usual ( that makes the nose worse). He is in good spirits and is still trying to eat my food. He eats a limited ingredient dry food. Also at my bedtime he gets 1/4 cup of pumpkin / yogurt 50/50 mix and loves that. The coughing looks like it hurts. I tired Vicks just to smell but he tired to eat it in the jar I shipped that because it has turpantine in it. We have taken steam showers and now had cold humidifiers in everything room. I am at a loss as what to do next, his coughing is looking me, it annoys him but he keeps on truckin'. I have frequently listened to his lungs and they weeks to be clear. His Vet is in Africa for 2 more months and she has No back up. Nicky has been like this 18 yrs it should Have killer him long before now if he had all the thing they day with out rushing any tests to back up their opinions. So how can I help him (and me).
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 8 months ago.

Hi, I'm Cher. Welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm reviewing your question now and will post back with your reply, shortly.

Expert:  Cher replied 8 months ago.

Hi, K D.

I'm so sorry to hear that Nicky has all these upper respiratory symptoms and a cough and your vets don't seem to be able to help him. It's possible that he's not just suffering from a URI and/or allergies, he may also have the feline herpes virus (not related to the human herpes virus at all). Here is more information:


You can use L-lysine products made just for cats, to help him with his symptoms and in addition, don't bring him into the bathroom when you're running a hot shower anymore, as in an older cat of this age, it might strain his heart too much, but definitely continue with the humidifier/vaporizer in any room he's in, to help with congestion. Do not use Vicks anywhere near him. I'm glad you realized it was not good for him before it was too late, but don't put any in the vaporizer, don't put any on him and don't let him smell it or lick it---it's very toxic to cats!

Here is information about L-lysine for cats:



Although the coughing seems related to the congestion with mucus, coughing can also be a symptom of other conditions. Heart conditions like cardiomyopathy and heartworm disease can cause coughing, so make sure Nicky is checked for these conditions.

Since this is going on for so long, it would be advisable to have Nicky evaluated by a veterinary respiratory specialist. Specialists are typically found in 24 hr. ER vet centers. Especially if his vet is away for 2 more months, he needs to see another vet until she returns. You usually need a referral from your regular vet, to see a specialist, but, if your vet is away, you said you brought him to another vet in the past, too, so if needed, get a referral from that other vet.

I hope all will be well with your Nicky!

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Warmest regards,


Expert:  Cher replied 7 months ago.

Hello again, K D.

I'm just checking in with you to see how everything is going with Nicky. I hope things are improving!

Please let me know if you found my answer helpful. Thanks!

Warmest wishes,